1. Scornfully or cynically mocking: a sardonic sense of humor.
2. Given to making sardonic remarks: "He was proud, sardonic, harsh to inferiority of every description" (Charlotte Brontë).
[French sardonique, from Greek sardonios, alteration of sardanios; perhaps akin to sesērenai, to show the teeth, grin mockingly.]
sar·doni·cism (-ĭ-sĭz′əm) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.